With The National just around the corner, our attention is fully on the biggest gathering of sports card collectors. Okay, maybe like 95 percent. We’re still keeping an eye on the upcoming release calendar, because there are some attention-grabbing products coming out in the immediate future.
What are the headliners? What’s going to be hot all over Loupe? We’ve got the intel.
2020-21 Clearly Donruss Basketball — July 23
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I’m a sucker for acetate cards. That’s why Clearly Donruss is one of my favorite basketball products each and every year.
This year is no different, largely because of the strength of the current rookie class. Imagine pulling a LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards clear-cut Rated Rookie autograph. Just incredible stuff. Also, Clearly Donruss has added Retro Rated Rookies, so you can pull acetate versions of classic Donruss cards like Luka’s Rated Rookie.
2020-21 Panini Select Basketball — July 28
Prizm and Select are Panini’s two flagship lines, and everyone has their own preference as to which is better. For my money, I like the bold aesthetic, colorful art, and flashy parallels in Select.
Select Basketball looks like it’ll live up to the tradition. Across the Concourse, Premier Level, and Courtside variations, there’s always a ton of potential when you factor in the sought-after parallels like zebra print. If you remember how big Prizm’s release was on Loupe, you know exactly what to expect when Select launches in less than a week.
2021 Panini Select UFC MMA — July 30
All that stuff I wrote in the paragraph above? It all directly applies to UFC too.
UFC is exploding in popularity, and its Prizm debut in April was a resounding success. Panini had the confidence to give MMA the Select treatment too, and it’s going to be just as big. Two major Select products within three days. One understandable change: The courtside level is dubbed “octagonside.” Perfection.
2020-21 Panini National Treasures Basketball — August 11
Where are the high rollers at? National Treasures Basketball is right around the corner, and a lot of us need to live vicariously through you.
The creme de la creme of high-end products launches in early(ish) August, and it’s going to be a wild ride. There’s a reason hundreds of Loupe users flood to someone’s room when an NT gets bought. It’s fascinating to watch, and it’s a good time for all.
2020-21 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Hockey — August 11
Here’s my bold hockey prediction: O-Pee-Chee Platinum is the hottest hockey product of the year.
Typically, Upper Deck Series 1/2 flagship and SP Authentic are the big names. However, with cards getting more mainstream exposure, everyone gravitates toward shiny, chromed-out, colorful designs. That’s what OPC Platinum specializes in. Whereas hockey cards are generally pretty restrained, Platinum is where Upper Deck lets its hair down. It’s a great entry point for card collectors who are new to hockey.
2021 Topps Chrome — August 11
August 11 is a date we definitely have circled on our calendar. Topps Chrome rounds out a trifecta of huge launches.
I’m sure you already know the significance of Topps Chrome. It’s one of the most popular baseball lines as Topps chromes out its flagship product. The checklist isn’t massive though, as Chrome focuses largely on rookies and stars. It’s heavy on parallels and autos too, something that every collector will be happy to hear.
2021 Panini Prizm WNBA
The WNBA’s Prizm debut took a lot of people by surprise last year. It won’t go under the radar again.
The WNBA is trending up and that’s going to correlate to popularity of Prizm WNBA. Making things all the sweeter, this is the first year that Panini’s signature Colorblast insert is included. A lot of people have predicted that the WNBA card market is poised to explode, and 2021 Prizm could be the product that pushes it over the edge.